May 29, 1910
Walked to Elmwood and took the car up home to Dinner & to Daves. Dave, Beatrice, Bess & I walked over to see Gertie & home in the rain.
Curtiss in an aeroplane flew from Albany to New York.
I LOVE when he mentions stuff like this!!1
This is neat little story!
Excerpt from the Glenn Curtiss Website:
In the early morning hours of May 29th, 1910, Curtiss set out to do the unthinkable. For a purse of $10,000, offered by New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer, Curtiss set out to fly from Albany to Manhattan.
Pulitzer’s rules were simple if not insane: Curtiss was allowed two stops to refuel and the entire distance of more than 150 miles had to be completed in less than twenty-four hours.
Curtiss was the only pilot in the world to agree to Pulitzer’s terms.
That morning more than 100,000 spectators gathered along Curtiss’ Hudson River flight path to witness one of the greatest spectacles of their day.
At 7:02 am Curtiss and his Albany Flyer were airborne.
Donning goggles, a cork life vest and rubberized waders, Curtiss kept pace with the news train. On-board the locomotive, his wife Lena hung out a window cheering her husband on while waiving a handkerchief. “It was like a real race and I enjoyed the contest more than anything else during the flight,” Curtiss later recalled.
Eighty-seven miles into his trip, Curtiss landed his Albany Flyer in an open field near Poughkeepsie where he borrowed oil and gas from curious motorists before taking back to the air.
Shortly after his second takeoff dangerous wind currents just south of Storm King Mountain nearly tossed the aviator from his plane. “My heart was in my mouth. I thought it was all over,” Curtiss recalled.
Regaining control of the airplane, Curtiss found himself in the homestretch. The Manhattan skyline was just visible on the horizon.
Then disaster struck.
Curtiss’ aircraft was leaking oil. He needed to put down before his engine froze up. But where?
Scanning the ground below, Curtiss looked for a large patch of green in northern Manhattan he had scouted out while planning his flight. Veering east from the Hudson, Curtiss put down in Inwood, on a stretch of land owned by the family of the late financier and leather merchant William B. Isham.
At 10:42 am, Isham’s daughter Flora and her husband, Minturn Post Collins, were reading about the flight in the Sunday paper when they heard a motor running behind the house.
Heading out back to investigate, Collins immediately realized he was standing face to face with the aviator he had read so much about in the morning news.
“I am certainly delighted to be the first to congratulate you on arriving in city limits, and am glad you picked our backyard as a place to land,” Collins told Curtiss.
All business, Curtiss responded, “Thank you, but what’s worrying me now is oil and gasoline. Have you any that you can spare?”